Saudi announces plans to launch second national airline to boost air transport

The crown prince did not say when the new airline would be launched.

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia crown prince Muhammad Bin Salman on Wednesday announced the plan to launch a second national airline, as part of a broader strategy to transform the kingdom into a global logistics hub as it seeks to diversify from oil, the Saudi press agency reported.

As part of an effort to turn the kingdom into a logistics hub, the second airline will be in addition to the state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines, which has suffered losses for years.

The Saudi crown prince said that the strategy aims to advance the Kingdom to become the fifth in the world in air transit traffic, increase destinations for more than 250 international destinations, and launch a new national carrier.

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The crown prince did not say when the new airline would be launched.

“The comprehensive strategy aims to position Saudi Arabia as a global logistics hub connecting the three continents,” the crown prince was quoted as saying in the SPA report. “This will help other sectors like tourism, Hajj and Umrah to achieve their national targets.”

The state-owned Saudi Arabian airline is the state’s largest carrier. Others include low-cost carrier Flyadeal- Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Flynas- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud’s Kingdom Holdings.

According to the media reports, Saudi Arabia is considering building a new airport in the capital Riyadh – a base for a new airline – to cater to international tourists and business people.

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